Dear CMENAS community,

I hope you are all having a great summer!

I am writing this message to announce that our current Associate Director, Muzammil Hussain, is finishing his two-year term this month. I want to take this opportunity to offer my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Muzammil for a productive and exciting two years of collaboration at CMENAS. Throughout his term, Muzammil has handled the tasks of Associate Director with aplomb and efficiency. He has been an asset to CMENAS and has supported our graduate program and our FLAS funding priorities. I have greatly enjoyed working in partnership with Muzammil and I will miss his energy, competency, and generosity. Please join me in thanking Muzammil for his excellent work!

I am also writing to welcome our new CMENAS Associate Director, Jay Crisostomo. Jay is Associate Professor and the George G. Cameron Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Civilization and Languages and Civilizations in the Department of Middle East Studies. In his scholarship, Jay examines the language and history of the texts produced in cuneiform cultures during the third and second millennia B.C.E. in the ancient Middle East (roughly ancient Iraq and Syria). His interests include Sumerian language and literature, multilingualism, translation, scribal and scholarly practices, lexicography, knowledge production and transfer, historiography, and social networks in the Middle East. Jay is also currently Director of Graduate Studies in MES, so he comes to the AD position with a wealth of experience and wisdom. His work at CMENAS will bring valuable connections between our programs and students.

Muzammil, thank you again for your service! And Jay, welcome aboard, my friend! 

All best wishes,

Ryan Szpiech
Director, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies